Cardinals fill roster spots with Kozma and Fornataro

Pete Kozma, who lost his place in the majors because of a lack of offense, was hitting .234 for Memphis.

Steve Mitchell/Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

ST. LOUIS — After promoting shortstop Pete Kozma and right-hander Eric Fornataro on Monday morning, the Cardinals have called up four players from Memphis in the past eight days.

That none of them has been Oscar Taveras, Randal Grichuk or Stephen Piscotty cannot be a real positive development.

It’s not, of course. The promotions are the result of injuries that have caught up to the Cardinals after a relatively healthy start to the season. As of Monday morning, four players who opened the season on the 25-man roster had landed on the disabled list: Michael Wacha, Kolten Wong, Kevin Siegrist and Joe Kelly, as well as Jaime Garcia.

The club could make yet another move in the next two days because they need a starter to take Garcia’s turn Wednesday afternoon in Colorado. They could turn to Nick Greenwood, who was called up last Monday, to lead a bullpen start. Or they could reach back into the minors to make another move.

Tyler Lyons, who has made four starts for the Cardinals this season, would seem to be the leading candidate. The club, however, could surprise and turn to 2013 first-round pick Marco Gonzales, who has pitched well in Class AA the past few weeks. Gonzales hails from Fort Collins, Colo., where he pitched Rocky Mountain High School to a state championship in all four years of high school.

Fornataro has pitched well this month for the Redbirds, with a 0.87 ERA in eight outings. Kozma, who lost his place in the majors because of a lack of offense, was hitting .234 for Memphis.

You can follow Stan McNeal on Twitter at @StanMcNeal or email him at stanmcneal@gmail.com.